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Top 10 Talent Acquisition Trend Predictions for 2023 | The Scoop: January 2023

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At this time of year, many thought leaders share their trend predictions for the coming 12 months. Instead of just adding our own predictions to the mix, we’ve reviewed future forecasts from talent acquisition subject matter experts, venture capitalists, technology analysts and research companies, all of whom are specialists in their space, and grouped the common predictions into the key themes. Below, you’ll find a curated list of the top 10 trend predictions that could impact talent acquisition in 2023, as well as Radancy’s commentary on what it could mean for employers.

1. Recruitment remains a high priority for employers in a continued tight talent market and talent acquisition teams will need to be creative in identifying new talent pools.

Curated summary:

  • Tight labor supply will continue to be a major challenge for companies. Employer demand for new hires is still high and talent shortages are expected to persist in nearly every sector in the coming year and beyond.
  • Lasting labor supply dynamics in many countries, such as COVID-19 related long-term illness, caregiving responsibilities, aging populations, reduced immigration and lower fertility rates, will persistently widen the gap between employer demand and the supply of talent. This will vary country to country.
  • Recruiting is a top priority for 46% of HR leaders in 2023. Common challenges HR leaders face include:
    • Insufficient sourcing strategies for finding the skills they need.
    • Difficulties in attracting and converting candidates.
    • Difficulties in retaining talent in a remote or hybrid environment.
  • The digitization of the industrial economy (construction, agriculture, transportation, and logistics), currently being disrupted by many start-ups, may help solve some labor challenges, but will also put added pressure on the tech talent labor pool as demand increases because of digitization.
  • The rising cost of university education and high graduate unemployment may lead to more young people seeking alternatives to university education.
  • Employers will look to hire labor with skills-based credentials and experience over formal degree holders, and this will attract more people into the labor force. 

Sources: Andreesen Horowitz (2), LinkedIn News UK (4), Gartner (5), Indeed & Glassdoor (11), Brainfood Live On Air, Ep. 187 (12), Radancy (13)

What could this mean for employers?

  • Providing current and future employees with clear trajectories for growth and development is vital for retention.
  • The competition for tech talent could be even more intense in 2023, despite recent publicized layoffs. Additionally, employers in industries disrupted by technology may need to reskill existing employees to cover shortages in the labor market.
  • Ensuring a smooth hiring process is in place will help generate more applicants as people share information through informal and formal networks about their hiring experience, for example on Fishbowl, Reddit, LinkedIn, etc. Granted, technical roles might have coding exercises, but anything excessive whereby an applicant must spend their entire day on an interview case study is excessive. If there are multiple rounds of interviews, people are more likely to exit or feel frustration regarding the ambiguity of outcomes and will likely consider alternative employers that make the hiring process feel easier.
  • Employers should expand talent pools by considering applicants from non-traditional backgrounds, substitute educational requirements with skills/experience (where viable), and leverage new networks to recruit a diverse set of talent. For example, investment banks could recruit from alternative schools instead of the traditional ‘prestigious’ universities (e.g., Ivy League in the US or Red Brick in the UK).

2. Workers and job tasks will become more fluid with increased job fragmentation, augmented internal mobility and specialized external talent marketplaces.

Curated summary:

  • The fragmentation of jobs is expected to increase, where more employees within organizations, as well contractors, will take on modular and project-based tasks.
  • Increased investment in internal mobility will continue, not only in the technology to facilitate it, but also with the creation of dedicated roles/teams to manage it.
  • The emergence of specialized external talent marketplaces that connect employees with hiring managers and provide resources for career development will become more common.

Sources: Andreessen Horowitz (2), Korn Ferry (3), Hung Lee (10)

What could this mean for employers?

  • The advantages of internal hiring are well documented, such as reducing hiring costs, increasing time-to-productivity and supporting better retention. And for the candidate, career progression, variety, increased job security and a sense of belonging.
  • Employers will need to ensure their internal talent mobility strategy is underpinned by a dedicated internal career site that has distinct internal messaging and provides a productive experience for employees to explore opportunities.

See also: Will Unilever’s and EY’s talent exchange program be a critical component in the future of work?

3. Flexibility: Hybrid working will become the norm; job seekers and employees will demand better work-life integration.

Curated summary:

  • Hybrid and remote work are expected to be a permanent trend and become the norm for knowledge workers.
  • The pandemic has led to a “Great Reflection” on where, when and how work should be done. More than two-thirds of executives globally think that progress on flexibility, employee well-being and skills development is at risk due to cost pressures.
  • Many organizations will offer hybrid work arrangements to attract top talent, with some requiring remote-first candidates to live within a certain radius to visit the office when needed.
  • Candidates are expected to look for employers that promote work-life integration and provide a more fluid schedule, forgoing the traditional nine to five or condensing the ‘standard’ working week into fewer days (primarily applies to knowledge workers).

Sources: Korn Ferry (3), LinkedIn News UK (4), Indeed & Glassdoor (11)

What could this mean for employers?

  • To stand out and compete for talent, employers will need to ensure they have a clear hybrid and flexible working offer, and that it is clearly communicated in all talent marketing. It won’t be a differentiator for employers for long and will be a standard candidate expectation.  
  • Employers that can be flexible with work schedules, for example with school hours-only and/or school term-time only job contracts, could open talent pools that were previously not available.

4. Increased opportunities to hire boomerang employees and alumni.

Curated summary:

  • During the ‘Great Resignation’ many people decided to retire early or switch jobs, the majority of those switching industries altogether.
  • Experts predict we will see an increase in boomerang employees in 2023, which accounted for 4.2% of all US hires from jobs posted on LinkedIn in 2022 (in 2019 it was 3.3%). One study found that 15% of professionals who quit, returned to their previous employer.
  • In 2023, organizations are likely to put more effort into the off-boarding process and maintaining professional relationships with employees who leave, letting them know that the door is open if they choose to return. Keeping in touch will be key.

Source: Korn Ferry (3)

What could this mean for employers?

  • Hiring former employees can be beneficial as they will have corporate knowledge and will likely have advanced their skills and experience since leaving. The time for the employee to onboard and reach full capacity will likely be shorter than with a new external hire, thus increasing contribution to business goals and revenue.
  • Studies have found that boomerang employees have tended to outperform new external hires in administrative and people-centered roles.
  • Employers should consider developing robust relationship management strategies to keep in touch with former employees, coupling a good off-boarding process with a robust alumni program.
  • Some former employees may be interested in returning to a temporary or interim role, instead of a full-time/permanent role. Employers should consider how they tap into this talent pool.

5. Benefits will help employers stand out.

  • Job seekers are expecting higher pay and employers are providing more holistic benefits to attract and retain employees, especially in lower-paying jobs that require in-person attendance.
  • Job ads on Indeed (US) have seen a notable increase in benefit categories such as healthcare, retirement and paid time off.

Sources: Indeed & Glassdoor (11), Brainfood Live On Air, Ep. 187 (12)

What could this mean for employers?

  • Employers will have to be creative and offer more tailored benefits and incentives to attract individuals.

6. WorkTech category (which includes HRTech) will be buoyant and will see continued investment and M&A activity.

Curated summary:

  • Employers will adopt more technology to help drive automation and productivity, especially within talent acquisition teams.
  • Employers report that HR Tech budgets are increasing at an average of 40%.
  • WorkTech might see $8 billion – $10 billion investment and M&A activity in 2023.
  • A key stimulus of the growth in the category is the adoption of WorkTech amongst SMBs as well as adoption and growth in emerging markets.
  • We may see consolidation of some sub-categories, emergence and growth of new categories/sub-categories, and start-ups providing point solutions to fill voids created because of mergers or acquisitions.
  • Venture capitalists will focus on funding tech companies that are solving challenges in multiple areas, often on several fronts, for example start-ups solving for the supply side and the demand side of talent marketplaces.

Sources: This Week in Recruiting, issue 94 (10), Brainfood Live On Air, Ep. 187 (12), Radancy (13), George Larocque / WorkTech (14)

What could this mean for employers?

  • In 2022, the ‘Marketplace Job Boards’ sub-category attracted the third-highest funding in WorkTech, behind ‘Payroll’ and ‘Learning’ technologies respectively. Even at a time when the boom in remote working fueled an incredible amount of activity in remote working-related technologies (‘Collaboration and Communication’ tech attracted $983 million in funding in 2022), ‘Marketplace Job Boards’ attracted over $1.11 billion. This shows the importance these platforms have in talent acquisition strategies and the only way employers will be able to take advantage and compete in a tight talent market, while likely having to do more with less, will be to use data and technology to automate their talent acquisition strategy.
  • Talent acquisition teams will look to their tech partners to become an extension of their team, supporting with strategy as well as providing the tech.

7. Increased adoption of analytics, machine learning and AI to power data-driven automation and productivity in talent acquisition.

Curated summary:

  • AI and machine learning will continue to be a significant trend in HR Tech, helping to improve efficiency and productivity and identify potential issues like discrimination or harassment. In the coming year, AI will make its way into more tech tools and software, enabling talent acquisition teams to leverage data-driven intelligence, machine learning and automation which will help achieve more with less whilst delivering better ROI.
  • There could be progression from humans using AI and machine learning to augment their work, to employees relying on software to autonomously do the work of a human, either to help employers save costs and/or to help with labor shortages.
  • The proliferation of generative AI tools (such as ChatGPT and DALL-E), including message composers that generate personalized outreach messages based on candidate profile data, could lead to an inundation of high-quality spam that is indistinguishable from hand-written copy. Tech candidates will likely build AI countermeasures to identify and interact with AI-generated messages, resulting in AI-to-AI contact becoming the default for first contact and ushering in a new era of discovery, specifically in the job market.
  • While Generative AI will have some good use cases, it will also be misused in many situations with the potential to amplify any underlying issues.
  • Regulating and auditing AI within HR technology will be complex and difficult to navigate and may even discourage some employers from using it. There will be challenges with auditing and evaluating AI biases. AI auditing AI will emerge.

Sources: HR Technology Conference (1), The Next Web (7), WSJ (8), Hung Lee (10), Radancy (13)

What could this mean for employers?

  • Many organizations have become, or are becoming, a software and technology-driven organization. For example, companies in the automotive, health, construction, agriculture, transportation and logistics industries all need some form of software and/or technology in their ever-evolving businesses. This means they all need to hire tech talent and will need to position themselves as a tech employer. However, an organization that is not perceived as a ‘tech company’ (or has little to no brand awareness as a tech employer) cannot simply transform and re-position themselves as an attractive tech talent employer overnight. Employers that identify with this challenge will need to adopt a robust data-driven talent acquisition strategy, using data and technology (for example, using machine-learning-powered programmatic ad tech) to automate the targeting, distribution and measurement of job and content to their key audiences. This will mean they can optimize speed-to-market and extend audience reach in order to maximize the opportunity to compete with other conventional ‘tech employers.’
  • Talent acquisition teams will need to use generative AI responsibly and pay close attention to quality control of inputs and outputs, focusing on using the AI to help with productivity rather than as a polished or trustworthy output. Guidelines around the use of generative AI should be put in place to protect the integrity of communications and employer brand. 

8. Developments will be made in Web 3.0 to disrupt talent acquisition and the future of work, specifically in blockchain and the metaverse, but mainstream adoption is some way off.

Curated summary:

  • The metaverse revolution will start to go professional. VR and AR are being used right now to train pilots and surgeons. This will continue to other professions.
  • New VR/AR hardware releases this year (such as Apple’s rumoured ‘XR Headset’ amongst others) will make steps to democratizing immersive access to the metaverse, but we’ll still be far from mainstream adoption.
  • Early use cases for the metaverse will likely be in training, remote collaboration and possibly some instances of onboarding, especially as hybrid work continues.
  • Blockchain disruption in talent acquisition is likely to continue with tech organizations like Velocity Network Foundation and start-ups like CV Wallet aiming to create the ‘internet of careers’ for career records, credentials and background checking, serving the education, employer and candidate sides of the hiring process.
  • Specialist Web 3.0 talent marketplaces, such as Talent Protocol, Outdefine and Braintrust, that aim to provide alternatives to LinkedIn and Upwork for Web 3.0 talent, will continue to grow in popularity with their niche offering.

Sources: LinkedIn News UK (4), HR Brew (9), Radancy (13)

What could this mean for employers?

  • Whilst there will be developments and some early use cases of these technologies, we don’t see much true disruption or adoption in 2023, beyond initial test cases or pilots. But this is an exciting trend to watch unfold over the next three to five years and has the capability to truly disrupt and transform talent acquisition.
  • Employers who hire Web 3.0 talent should explore specialist talent marketplaces for these audiences, if not doing so already. This should include thinking about how they reshape their compensation and benefits packages accordingly, such as offering crypto or other relevant incentives.

9. Influencer marketing comes to talent acquisition.

Curated summary:

  • Leveraging influencers may be a new way for employers to identify and target relevant audiences, whether it be promoting types of jobs and careers, highlighting specific employers and the work they do, more indirect employer brand plays or even promoting direct vacancies.
  • TikTok Creator Studio: 2023 will be the year that even companies who are not active on TikTok, will explore TikTok Creator Marketplace to work with industry-specific influencers (e.g., #TechTok) to build brand awareness for their company as an employer of choice.

Sources: Hung Lee (10), Radancy (13)

What could this mean for employers?

  • As with any influencer marketing, employers will need to consider the KPIs to measure ROI.
  • This might not simply be just about the influencer promoting a job opportunity, but being more creative and generating genuine interest through entertainment, education and inspiration. It will be about building awareness and using retargeting to stay front of mind with the audience.
  • Organizations will need to challenge their status quo of vetting influencers and if they align to your organization’s values and brand. Instead, employers should be considering the here and now, and how the influencers will resonate with your target audience.
  • Brands will need to also consider how they brief influencers, instead of being prescriptive and instructing the influencers to produce “x, y and z”, organizations will need to allow the content creators to create what’s right for their audience. 

10. Diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging will be a key decision factor for job seekers and a key differentiator for employers.

Curated summary:

  • The share of Glassdoor benefit reviews indicating that a company offered a DEIB program, such as employee resource groups, diversity training and mentoring programs, increased in 2020 and 2021 in the US, Canada and the UK, but slowed in the US and UK in the first three quarters of 2022.
  • The workforce of the future will care deeply about DEIB initiatives, and employers will use these programs to differentiate themselves in a competitive labor market.
  • DEIB is the top area where people analytics is adding the most business value.
  • Measurement of DEIB will get more sophisticated, more insightful and more action oriented.
  • Expect to see DEIB by design in line with the end-to-end employee experience.

Sources: Data Driven HR Monthly (6), Indeed & Glassdoor (11)

What could this mean for employers?

  • A lack of DEIB efforts could have a negative impact on hiring and retention efforts. Nearly two-thirds of workers in the US said they would consider turning down a job or leaving a company if they did not think their manager supported DEIB initiatives.
  • Employers need to ensure they’re telling their DEIB story on the career site and in marketing communications.

What are your trend predictions for 2023?

There are myriad trends predicted for this coming year, many of which are not included in this Top 10. Let us know what your predictions are and what it might mean for employers by dropping a comment on our socials or messaging Nathan directly on LinkedIn.

Sources:

  1. “2023 HR Tech Trends – 10 Key Predictions”, HR Tech Insiders, HR Technology Conference: https://blog.hrtechnologyconference.com/2023-hr-tech-trends-10-key-predictions
  2. “Big ideas in Tech for 2023: An a16z Omnibus”, Andreessen Horowitz: https://a16z.com/2022/12/15/big-ideas-in-tech-2023/
  3. “The Future of Talent Acquisition”, Korn Ferry: https://www.kornferry.com/insights/featured-topics/talent-recruitment/talent-acquisition-trends-2023/download-pdf
  4. “Big Ideas 2023: 20 bold predictions for the year ahead”, LinkedIn News UK: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/big-ideas-2023-20-bold-predictions-year-ahead-linkedin-news-uk/
  5. “The Top HR Trends and Priorities for 2023”, Gartner: https://www.gartner.co.uk/en/human-resources/trends/top-priorities-for-hr-leaders
  6. “12 HR Trends for 2023: Humanising (the future of) Work”, David Green et al, Data Driven HR Monthly on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/12-hr-trends-2023-humanising-future-work-david-green-/
  7. “What to expect from AI in 2023”, The Next Web: https://thenextweb.com/news/what-to-expect-ai-in-2023
  8. “Tech That Will Change Your Life in 2023”, WSJ,: https://www.wsj.com/articles/tech-that-will-change-your-life-in-2023-11672405471
  9. “Web3 talent marketplaces want to be the next LinkedIns, but what exactly do they do?”, HR Brew: https://www.hr-brew.com/stories/2022/10/11/web3-talent-marketplaces-want-to-be-the-next-linkedins-but-what-exactly-do-they-do
  10. “This Week in Recruiting, issue 94” (2nd January 2023), Hung Lee https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/week-recruiting-issue-94-hung-lee
  11. “Indeed & Glassdoor’s Hiring and Workplace Trends Report 2023”, Indeed & Glassdoor: https://www.indeed.com/lead/indeed-glassdoor-hiring-and-workplace-trends-report-2023
  12. “Brainfood Live On Air – Ep187 – Forecasting the Year Ahead in Recruitment”, The Recruiting Brainfood Podcast: https://recruitingbrainfood.podbean.com/e/brainfood-live-on-air-ep187-forecasting-the-year-ahead-in-recruitment-2023/  
  13. Predictions from some of Radancy’s own in-house subject matter experts, including Dr. Sarah Ali, Priyanka Mehra, Jon Fernandes, Daniel Thompson, Todd Maycunich and Nathan Perrott
  14. “WorkTech’s 2022 Global Work Tech VC Look Back and Look Forward”, George Larocque: https://bit.ly/3kcK8wS

About Nathan Perrott

As VP, Strategy & Innovation at Radancy, Nathan is responsible for observing emerging trends in technology and the future of work to drive product and strategy innovation, bringing the value of Radancy Labs' work to our clients and colleagues, and also leads the European team of solutions engineers who drive value from the Radancy Talent Acquisition Cloud.

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